Aeham Ahmad

Concert by the Syrian-Palestinian pianist, peace campaigner & 2015 Beethoven Prize winner

Aeham Ahmad at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, 2016
Photo: Christian Lauer
Aeham Ahmad at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, 2016
Photo: Christian Lauer
Aeham Ahmad at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, 2016
Photo: Christian Lauer

Syrian-Palestinian pianist, peace activist and winner of the 2015 International Beethoven Prize, Aeham Ahmad, will present a concert in the Foyer of the Wiesbaden State Theatre on 14 June at 19:30.

Born in Damascus in 1988, Aeham Ahmad was part of the Palestinian minority in Syria and lived with his family in the refugee camp Yarmouk until 2015, where he became known as the "Pianist in the rubble". His piano on a cart, he gave public performances on the ruined streets of Yarmouk, facing mortal danger in order to bring his people a little hope and joy through music. Following the ban on music, he watched as Islamists burned his piano to the ground in the Spring of 2015.

Since this incident, his life was under serious threat and in August 2015 he fled Syria via Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Croatia and Austria, reaching Munich in September, from where he was finally allocated to Wiesbaden. He was forced to leave his wife and two sons behind in order to escape Syria.

Since his arrival in the country, he has given countless concerts in German cities: his performances in Berlin, Bonn, Munich, Leipzig, Cologne and Stuttgart have been enthusiastically received for their intensity and virtuosity. His programme consists mainly of original compositions and traditional pieces, alongside works by Beethoven and Mozart. In Munich at the "Stars-sagen-Danke" concert, he shared the stage with Sportfreunden Stiller, Judith Holofernes and Herbert Grönemeyer, an initiative to thank those who continue to give give aid and support to the refugee crisis. In addition, he performed as part of a demonstration against sexual violence in Cologne.

In December 2016, Aeham Ahmad was awarded the first International Beethoven Prize for Human Rights, in the presence of pianist Martha Argerich, at the Bonn Bundeskunsthalle.